Dec. 2, 2007
Columbia, Mo. -
The University of Missouri football team has accepted an invitation to play in the 2008 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, as announced today by Mizzou and Cotton Bowl officials.
Head Coach Gary Pinkel and his 7th-ranked Tigers (11-2 overall, 7-1 in Big 12 and North Division champions) will play in the 72nd annual edition of the game, set for Jan. 1st in Dallas, Texas, against the 25th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks (8-4 overall, 4-4 and 3rd in SEC West). The game will kickoff at 10:40 a.m. (central) and will be televised nationally on Fox.
This will mark the first New Year's Day bowl game for Missouri since the Tigers played in the 1970 Orange Bowl (Penn State 10, Mizzou 3), and it will be MU's 10th alltime New Year's Day bowl appearance. The Tigers will be making only their second appearance in the Cotton Bowl, with the other outing coming in 1946 (Texas 40, Mizzou 27).
The game will mark MU's third-consecutive bowl game, and fourth bowl appearance in the last five seasons overall under Pinkel, after Mizzou had gone to only two bowl games in a span of 19 seasons dating from 1984-2002. The last time that MU played in three consecutive bowl games was when the Tigers had four straight appearances from 1978-81 under Warren Powers. The Cotton Bowl appearance will be Mizzou's 25th bowl game, with MU holding a 10-14 mark in its previous 24 outings.
"We are very pleased to accept a bid to the Cotton Bowl," said MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel. "This is one of the great traditional games out there, it has a ton of history, and it's in a prime recruiting area for our program. We certainly will have our hands full with a very talented and battle-tested Arkansas team, but we look forward to the challenge of getting back on the field," he said.
"What a great moment for our program, for the University and for all of our fans across the country," said MU Director of Athletics Mike Alden. "You can't ask for a bowl game with more tradition and a history of excellence than the Cotton Bowl. Rick Baker and his team run a first-class operation, and they have done an outstanding job of putting together what we feel is one of the most intriguing games of the 2007-08 bowl season. We look forward to bringing a lot of Tiger fans to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the week," he said.
Missouri and Arkansas have met four times previously, and the series stands deadlocked at two wins per side. The last meeting also came in a bowl game setting, when the Razorbacks claimed a 27-14 win over Mizzou in the 2003 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. Other meetings came in 1906 (MU 11, Arkansas 0), 1944 (Arkansas 7, MU 6) and 1963 (MU 7, Arkansas 6).
The Tigers and Razorbacks have not played any common opponents in 2007. Arkansas' last outing saw them upset then No. 1-ranked LSU, 50-48 in three overtimes in Baton Rouge, La., on Nov. 23rd. The Razorbacks, winners of five of their last six games to close the season, feature tailback Darren McFadden, one of the nation's top players, who along with Tiger QB Chase Daniel, will provide an offensive showdown between two leading Heisman Trophy candidates.
The Mizzou Athletic Ticket Office will begin taking orders for the Cotton Bowl beginning Monday, Dec. 3 at 8 a.m. online at www.mutigers.com. Fans may also order over the phone by calling 1-800-CAT-PAWS (884-PAWS in Columbia), but are strongly encouraged to order on-line to ensure prompt service.
The Mizzou Alumni Association, Dodds Athletic Tours and Great Southern Travel have teamed up to offer travel packages. Fans and alumni interested in the tour are encouraged to visit the Mizzou Alumni Association website at www.mizzou.com or www.greatsoutherntravel.com. A variety of packages, options, and amenities are available including game tickets while supplies last. Fans may also call 1-888-MIZZOU-1, 800-749-7116, or 573-443-1625 for more information.
For more information about the 2008 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, and the city of Dallas, please visit the official site of the Cotton Bowl, at www.attcottonbowl.com.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC
The Cotton Bowl was founded on January 1, 1937 by J. Curtis Sanford. The game is played in the Cotton Bowl Stadium, which has a natural grass playing surface (Bermuda Tifway Sod) and has a seating capacity of 72,260. Last year's game between Auburn and Nebraska (Auburn 17, Nebraska 14) drew a crowd of 66,777...
Tickets for the game are priced at $90, and all seats are reserved. The projected team payout for the 2008 Cotton Bowl is $3 million...
Dallas is the nation's ninth largest city with a population of 1,213,825. The combined population of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is 4.5 million...
Mizzou has a base of approximately 3,200 alumni in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which makes it one of the school's largest out-of-state alumni pods...
MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel is 2-2 in bowl games as a Head Coach, including 1-2 at Mizzou. The Tigers dropped a last-second heartbreaker in the 2006 Brut Sun Bowl to Oregon State (39-38), after gaining MU's first bowl win since 1998 with a 38-31 win over South Carolina in the 2005 Independence Bowl. Prior to that, Pinkel's Tigers were defeated by Arkansas (27-14) in the 2003 Independence Bowl, and Pinkel's Toledo Rockets won a 40-37 overtime game against Nevada in the 1995 Las Vegas Bowl...
The bowl game will be the 16th of Pinkel's coaching career, including his assistant coaching days with Don James at Washington. Pinkel's teams have won 10-of-15 bowl games, including going 8-3 at Washington, 1-0 at Toledo, and 1-2 at Mizzou...
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